Big Blue Feast: 'Only The Beginning'
“Feast your eyes on today's photos,” offered Royal Star skipper Tim Ekstrom May 30, “and reminisce about days of old; the days when we targeted vast quantities of quality offshore bluefin less the flying circus that has annihilated the fishery since.
“Today there were no boats, no pens, no planes, just us and a whole sea of opportunity to ourselves. We didn't score big in numbers but in significance and relative proportion we made a big score. Far off the beaten track, in the face of difficult working weather, we chose the difficult route upon departure from Alijos yesterday. Recognizing the obvious fact that finding fish offshore would only happen if we were there we forged into the crucible unable to resist a zone that has been nagging at us since our departure. We made a fishing move.
“The result of our efforts was 24 bluefin from two different stops the best of which produced a dozen. The first stop caught more than a few anglers off guard as the size range of today's fish was 60 - 75 pounds with one that came in at 106. Between the difficult weather, the larger fish, the typical, head shaking bluefin behavior that tears loose an amazing number of hooks, and the necessary acclimation to better size fish that always costs a beginning few, the fishing during the first go around was way better than the catching.
“After that, though, we got in the groove. So now it is a matter of seeing just how much there is to it. Needless to say the red alert was transmitted over the wire and at least a couple of our colleagues will join us tomorrow to expand on what we found. The one thing I will offer with confidence is that when the weather calms down and more eyes and sonar's join the search, there is a 100 percentt certainty that more, and better numbers, of these bluefin will be caught in this zone. It is simply a matter of time and conditions.Now we know they are here, and this is only the beginning, mark my words.
“Photos today feature Shimano master angler John Kuch who earned the coveted title landing "The First" beautiful offshore Bluefin of the 2012 summer season. Photo number two features first time long range angler James Haiber kneeling in triumph next to a rack of 60 to 75 pounders dressed and ready for storage in the RSW tank. Can you imagine? Perfect, fat seventy pound Bluefin in the RSW tank at thirty degrees for only two days. I can't wait to catch more. This is what we live for.”
“Although wahoo fishing was outstanding again today,” said Excel skipper Justin Fleck May 30, “we didn't do very well in the war with the sharks. It truly is a shame to hook so many big tuna just to have the sharks eat them. There was better sign of tuna here today than yesterday but with the obvious obstacle we decided to move on and try another location tomorrow. We still have plenty of time left in our trip and we all know that it just takes a couple of good days of action to get ’er done. Everyone here is in good spirits and are really enjoying the trip.”
"The Accurate group had a decent afternoon," reported Red Rooster III skipper Andy Cates May 30, "to get the trip started: 34 tuna and 4 wahoo from lunch time until dark. Biggest fish around 198 and 196 pounds. All in all nice fish. 100 to 170 pounds was the bulk of the fish. Tonight we will try and get some flying fish. We did have bites with the squid but our surplus will run low fast. Flyers would be great. Hopefully, we can scratch again tomorrow and maybe get a chance at a few bigger fish."
Net Update by Bill Roecker for FishingVideos.com and San Diego Sportfishing Council.